While reading a new-to-me author, she wrote of the relationship between the father and daughter, a good relationship. They talked. He encouraged her, talked to her on a wide variety of subjects. She remember their interactions while she was growing up. It sent me searching for any similar memories. The fictional father encourages his daughter and teachers her about engines, something he loves.
What did my father teach me?
Yes, he taught me to dance, but he was teaching a class I was in.
We had daddy-daughter dates, to which a friend was often invited because her dad was… horrible. I wasn’t going to write it, but it’s the truth. Then there was the punishment for taking him away from NM… never mind about that.
I tried to remember anything else. He taught me to drive, one summer, for a few days, in Idaho. I learned on narrow farm roads, sharing the road with grain-filled trucks and combines. They were always polite, but there was only so much asphalt. City freeways were a piece of cake.
The talks we had weren’t particularly positive or encouraging, at least, not that I remember. Perhaps I’m comparing them to the talks now. I endeavor to spend some time chatting with him every day. I think I’m doing pretty good, and then he complains to someone else that “they” never see me. I’m never good enough.
We interacted every day, but it was always strained. Probably not from his perspective. At the time, I thought it was good.
Why “torture” myself? I need to make a reality check. It’s only in looking back, seeing the warning signs, that I’m able to recognize how difficult it was.
Being more honest with myself has changed how I interact with people. I’m less self-conscious and more interested in making others comfortable. I recognize when I’m talking too much and own it. I like myself better.